Telecoms News - In Brief

Telecoms

The decision to lay off 12,000 of Telkom Kenya employees is final, Information and Communications minister Mutahi Kagwe has said. Kagwe ruled out a possibility of suspending retrenchment plans set to begin in May despite requests by the workers' union. He said no amount of resistance from the union would deter the plan. Kagwe said the Government would meet union officials to convince them to embrace the retrenchment, which he said was done "in good faith" following the firm's continued poor performance. The minister added that the parastatal's debts exceeded Sh50 billion.

The Nigerian Telecommunications Limited (NITEL), is to sack 6,000 of its 11,000 workforce in furtherance of the federal government's plan to divest its majority shares from the company. Currently, NITEL's staff strength is more than 11,000, a figure analyst say is too high for a company with less than one million telephone lines. The liabilities of the company currently hovers between N60 billion and N74 billion, pointing out that the engagement of Pentescope in 2002 to manage NITEL largely contributed to the worsening of the company's financial situation. Staff have agreed that retrenchment will probably serve as part of the solutions needed to salvage the company adding that the staff are not against privatizing the company, but that their entitlements should be paid before the exercise is concluded.